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Date Of Decision No.20.11.2018 vs State Of Himachal Pradesh on 20 November, 2018

IN THE HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH,
SHIMLA

     Cr. MP(M) No. 1421 of 2018

.

Date of Decision No.20.11.2018
_
Desh Raj                      …….. Petitioner

Versus 

State of Himachal Pradesh                       …..Respondent.

_
Coram:

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sandeep Sharma, Judge.

Whether approved for reporting? 1 Yes.

For the petitioner:   Mr. Digvijay Singh, Advocate 

       For the respondent: Mr.   S.C.Sharma     Mr.   Dinesh

Thakur,   Additional   Advocate
Generals,   with   Mr.   Amit   Kumar,
Deputy Advocate General.

_
Sandeep Sharma, Judge (oral):

Sequel   to   order   dated   30.10.2018,   whereby   bail

petitioner namely, Desh Raj was ordered to be enlarged on bail

in the event of arrest in relation to FIR No.268 of 2018, dated

13.10.2018,   under   Sections   366,   376,   120­B   and   506   of   IPC

registered at police Station, Balh, District Mandi, H.P, SI Hem

Raj has come present alongwith the record. Mr. Amit Kumar

Dhumal, learned Deputy Advocate General has also placed on

1
Whether the reporters of the local papers may be allowed to see the judgment?

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2

record status report, prepared on the basis of the investigation

carried out by the Investigating Agency. Record perused and

.

returned.

2. Close scrutiny of the record/status report, reveals

that on 13.10.2018 complainant, namely Smt. Sarla Devi, who

happened to be mother of the victim (hereinafter referred to

as the prosecutrix) lodged complaint at police Station, Balh,

District   Mandi,H.P.,   alleging   therein   that   on   7.10.2018   her

daughter had gone to the house of her friend Veena Devi, but

she did not return till 9.10.2018, whereafter maternal Uncle of

Veena Devi gave a phone call to her daughter Pooja, whereby

he informed that her daughter i.e. prosecutrix has solemnized

marriage   with   his   Nephew   i.e.   present   bail   petitioner   Desh

Raj. Complainant alleged that on 10.10.2018, maternal Uncle

of   bail   petitioner   came   to   her   house   and   informed   that

prosecutrix has solemnized marriage with the bail petitioner,

but   they   refused   to   send   her   daughter   to   her   house.   On

12.10.2018,   person   namely   Kishan   Chand   informed   that

function   is   being   organized   on   account   of   marriage   of   bail

petitioner with the prosecutrix, but suddenly on 13.10.2018, at

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3

7:00 AM somebody on phone informed that prosecutrix   has

left the house of bail petitioner without intimating anybody.

.

Complainant   alleged   that   bail   petitioner   in  connivance   with

his relatives allured her daughter and subsequently compelled

her to solemnize marriage with him. On the basis of aforesaid

complaint,   FIR   detailed   hereinabvoe,   came   to   be   lodged

against   the   present   bail   petitioner   on   13.10.2018   under

Sections   366,   376   and   120­B   of   IPC.     On   15.10.2018,

prosecutrix came back  to her  village and  allegedly informed

complainant that she was forced to solemnize marriage with

bail petitioner, who sexually assaulted her against her wishes.

On   15.10.2018,   police   got   recorded   the   statement   of

prosecutrix under Section 164 Cr.P.C, wherein she stated that

bail petitioner with the help of his relatives forcibly solemnize

marriage   with   her   and   thereafter   sexually   assaulted   her.

Police also got prosecutrix medically examined, wherein it has

been opined that possibility of sexual assault cannot be ruled

out, however report of FSL, is still awaited.

3. Mr.   Amit   Kumar   Dhumal,   learned   Deputy

Advocate General, on the instructions of Investigating Officer,

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fairly   stated   that   pursuant   to   order   dated   30.10.2018   bail

petitioner has joined the investigation and is fully cooperating

.

in the investigation. He also stated that at this stage nothing

is required to be recovered from the bail petitioner, however

his enlargement on bail at this stage, can be detrimental to the

investigation   and   as   such,   prayer   made   in   the   instant

application may be rejected.

4. Mr.   Digvijay   Singh,   learned   counsel   representing

the bail petitioner, while making this court to travel through

the   record/status   report,   vehemently   argued  that   no   case,   if

any, is made out against the bail petitioner under Sections 366

and 376 IPC because there is nothing on record to suggest that

bail petitioner allured and then compelled the prosecutrix to

solemnize  marriage  with him.  Rather,  evidence  available  on

record itself suggest that prosecutrix, who is major, of her own

joined the company of  bail petitioner and then in the presence

of   her   family   members,   especially   maternal   Grand   father

solemnized   marriage   in   a   temple   at   Sundernagar.   He   also

contended that after solemnization of  marriage, both i.e. bail

petitioner and prosecutrix went to Public Notary where they

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both   executed   affidavits,   stating   therein   that   they   both   are

major   and   they   with   their   own   volition   have   solemnized

.

marriage   and   as   such,   bail   petitioner   has   been   falsely

implicated   in   the   case.   He   further   contended   that   since

complainant is not happy with the present marriage, she has

compelled   the   prosecutrix   to   falsely   depose   against   the   bail

petitioner, who is now her husband. Learned counsel for the

petitioner  also  made available  photographs    in the  Court to

demonstrate   that   marriage   was   solemnized   in   a   temple,

whereafter   prosecutrix   remained   in   the   company   of   bail

petitioner and other family members for almost one week and

during this period no attempt, whatsoever was ever made by

her to lodge complaint, if any, against the bail petitioner or

other   family   member,   which   clearly   suggest   that   she   was

happy with the marriage, but subsequently on the insistence

of  her  mother,    she  gave  false  statement  under   Section 164

Cr.P.C.   He   also   invited   attention   of   this   Court   to   the

statement   of   Sh.  Ram  Singh,   who  happened  to  be   maternal

Grand father of prosecutrix, to demonstrate that prosecutrix of

her own will had solemnized marriage in the presence of her

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maternal grand father and at no point of time, she was ever

compelled by the bail petitioner or other family members.

.

5. Learned   Deputy   Advocate   General,   while

responding to the aforesaid arguments having been made by

learned counsel for the petitioner, contended that  keeping in

view the gravity of the   offences allegedly committed by the

bail petitioner, he does not   deserves to be enlarged on bail.

Learned Additional Advocate General further contended that

statement having been made by the prosecutrix under Section

164 Cr.P.C, clearly suggests that bail petitioner in connivance

with other family members firstly allured the prosecutrix  and

then solemnized marriage with her by making her to consume

some intoxicating substance.

6. Having heard learned counsel for the parties and

perused the material available on record, this Court finds that

at the time of alleged incident prosecutrix was major. It is also

not in dispute that prosecutrix had gone to the house of bail

petitioner of her own, because there is no evidence to suggest

that   bail   petitioner   or   his   family   members   compelled   the

prosecutrix to join their company. It has specifically come in

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the   statement   of   Ram   Singh,   who   happened   to  be   maternal

grand father of prosecutrix that prosecutrix wanted to marry

.

the   present   bail   petitioner   and   she   of   her   own   volition

solemnized marriage with the bail petitioner. It is also not in

dispute   that   marriage   was   solemnized   on   9.10.2018   at

Sundernagar   Temple,whereafter   admittedly   prosecutrix

remained   in   the   company   of   bail   petitioner   or   other   family

members   for   almost   a   week.   As   per   own   version   of

complainant, she was in constant touch of the family members

of   bail   petitioner   till   13.10.2018   when   complainant   was

informed that some function is being organized on account of

solemnization of marriage.   But there is nothing on record to

suggest that during this period attempt, if any, was ever made

by prosecutrix to raise hue and cry to lodge the complaint, if

any, against the bail petitioner or other family members qua

their forcible act, if any.

7. Leaving   everything   aside,   affidavits   adduced   on

record by the investigating Officer, which were executed by the

bail petitioner and  prosecutrix  on 11.10.2018, clearly suggest

that   they   of   their   own   volition   had   solemnized   marriage   at

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Sundernagar   Temple.   These   affidavits   also   reveals   that     by

that   time   both   parties   were   major.   Interestingly,   maternal

.

grand   father   of   prosecutrix   is   one   of   the   witness   to   the

affidavits.   Advocate   Pawan,   before   whom   affidavits   were

executed,   have   also   stated   that   both     bail   petitioner   and

prosecutrix  had personally come to him and stated that  they

have   solemnized   the   marriage.   Though,   aforesaid   aspects   of

the matter are to be considered and decided by the court below

on the basis of the totality of evidence collected on record by

the   investigating   agency,   but   having   perused   the   material

available on record at this stage, this Court sees no reason for

custodial   interrogation   of   bail   petitioner   and   as   such,   he

deserves   to   be   enlarged   on   bail.  Otherwise   also,   it   is   well

settled that till the time guilt of a person is   not proved in

accordance with law, he/she is deemed to be innocent.

8. It has been repeatedly held by Hon’ble Apex Court

as well as this Court that freedom of an individual cannot be

curtailed for indefinite period, especially when his/her guilt is

yet to be proved, in accordance with law.

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9. Recently,   the   Hon’ble   Apex   Court   in   Criminal

Appeal   No.   227/2018,  Dataram   Singh  vs.  State   of   Uttar

.

Pradesh  Anr decided on 6.2.2018 has  held that freedom of

an   individual   cannot   be   curtailed   for   indefinite   period,

especially when his guilt has not been proved. It has further

held by the Hon’ble Apex Court in the aforesaid judgment that

a   person   is   believed   to   be   innocent   until   found   guilty.   The

Hon’ble Apex Court has held as under:­

2.   A   fundamental   postulate   of   criminal
jurisprudence   is   the   presumption   of   innocence,
meaning   thereby   that   a   person   is   believed   to   be
innocent   until   found   guilty.   However,   there   are

instances in our criminal law where a reverse onus
has been placed on an accused with regard to some
specific   offences   but   that   is   another   matter   and
does not detract from the fundamental postulate in

respect   of   other   offences.   Yet   another   important
facet   of   our   criminal   jurisprudence   is   that   the

grant   of   bail   is   the   general   rule   and   putting   a
person in jail or in a prison or in a correction home
(whichever   expression   one   may   wish   to   use)   is   an

exception.   Unfortunately,   some   of   these   basic
principles appear to have been lost sight of with the
result   that   more   and   more   persons   are   being
incarcerated and for longer periods. This does not
do any good to our criminal jurisprudence or to our
society.

10. By now it is well settled that gravity alone cannot

be decisive ground to deny bail, rather competing factors are

required   to   be   balanced   by   the   court   while   exercising   its

discretion.   It   has   been  repeatedly   held  by   the   Hon’ble   Apex

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Court   that   object   of   bail   is   to   secure   the   appearance   of   the

accused person at his trial by reasonable amount of bail. The

.

object of bail is neither punitive nor preventative.  The Hon’ble

Apex Court in Sanjay Chandra versus Central Bureau of

Investigation  (2012)1   Supreme   Court   Cases   49;   wherein   it

has been held as under:­

” The object of bail is to secure the appearance of
the   accused   person   at   his   trial   by   reasonable
amount   of   bail.   The   object   of   bail   is   neither
rpunitive nor preventative. Deprivation of liberty
must be considered a punishment, unless it can

be required to ensure that an accused person will
stand his trial when called upon. The Courts owe
more   than   verbal   respect   to   the   principle   that
punishment   begins   after   conviction,   and   that

every   man   is   deemed   to   be   innocent   until   duly
tried and duly found guilty. Detention in custody
pending  completion of trial could be a cause of
great   hardship.   From   time   to   time,   necessity

demands   that   some   unconvicted   persons   should
be held in custody pending  trial to secure their

attendance   at   the   trial   but   in   such   cases,
“necessity”   is   the   operative   test.   In   India   ,   it
would   be   quite   contrary   to   the   concept   of

personal   liberty   enshrined   in   the   Constitution
that any person should be punished in respect of
any   matter,   upon   which,   he   has   not   been
convicted or that in any circumstances, he should
be deprived of his liberty upon only the belief that
he   will   tamper   with   the   witnesses     if   left   at
liberty,   save   in   the   most   extraordinary
circumstances.   Apart   from   the   question   of
prevention being the object of refusal of bail, one
must   not   lose   sight     of   the   fact   that   any
imprisonment before conviction has a substantial
punitive   content   and   it   would   be   improper   for
any court to refuse bail as a mark of disapproval
of former conduct whether the accused has been
convicted   for   it   or   not   or   to   refuse   bail   to   an

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unconvicted person for the propose of giving him
a taste of imprisonment as a lesson.”

11. Needless to say object of the bail is to secure the

.

attendance of the accused in the trial and the proper test to be

applied in the solution of the question whether bail should be

granted or refused is whether it is probable that the party will

appear to take his trial.  Otherwise, bail is not to be withheld

as a punishment.   Otherwise also, normal rule is of bail and

not   jail.     Court   has   to   keep   in   mind   nature   of   accusations,

nature   of   evidence   in   support   thereof,   severity   of   the

punishment   which   conviction   will   entail,   character   of   the

accused,   circumstances   which   are   peculiar   to   the   accused

involved in that crime. 

12. The   Hon’ble   Apex   Court   in  Prasanta   Kumar

Sarkar   v.   Ashis   Chatterjee   and   Another  (2010)   14   SCC

496, has laid down the following principles to be kept in mind,

while deciding petition for bail:

(i) whether   there   is   any   prima   facie   or
reasonable ground to believe that the accused
had committed the offence; 

(ii) nature and gravity of the accusation;

(iii)   severity   of   the   punishment   in   the   event   of
conviction; 

(iv) danger of the accused absconding or fleeing, if
released on bail; 

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(v) character,   behaviour,   means,   position   and
standing of the accused; 

(vi) likelihood of the offence being repeated; 

.

(vii) reasonable   apprehension   of   the   witnesses
being influenced; and 

(viii) danger, of course, of justice being thwarted
by grant of bail. 

13. Consequently,  in view of the above,    order dated

30.10.2018, passed by this Court, is made absolute, subject to

petitioner’s furnishing personal bonds in the sum of Rs. 1,00,000/­

(   Rs.   One   Lakh)   with   one   surety   in   the   like   amount,   to   the

satisfaction   of   the   Investigating   Officer,   besides   the     following

conditions:  

a. He shall make himself available for the purpose of
interrogation, if so required and regularly attend

the trial Court on each and every date of hearing
and   if   prevented   by   any   reason   to   do   so,   seek

exemption from appearance by filing appropriate
application;

b. He shall not tamper with the prosecution evidence

nor   hamper   the   investigation   of   the   case   in   any
manner whatsoever;

c. He     shall   not   make   any   inducement,   threat   or
promises to any person acquainted with the facts
of the case so as to dissuade them from disclosing
such facts to the Court or the Police Officer; and

d. He shall not leave the territory of India without the
prior permission of the Court.   

14. It   is   clarified   that   if   the   petitioner   misuses   his

liberty or violates any of the conditions imposed upon him, the

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investigating   agency   shall   be   free   to   move   this   Court   for

cancellation of his  bail.  

.

15. Any   observations   made   hereinabove   shall   not   be

construed to be a reflection on the merits of the case and shall

remain confined to the disposal of this application alone.  

The bail petition stands disposed of accordingly.

Copy dasti.  

 (Sandeep Sharma),
r    Judge

20th November, 2018
        (shankar)

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